Whether You Are Staying Local or Venturing Far Afield
July 4th is upon us and if you aren’t heading out on vacation or don’t have to prepare because all of your family and friends are coming for a blowout BBQ, we have some suggestions for you! Whether you have plans or not, check out this list of local and regional events that will get you in the holiday spirit.
In Boston, the 30th annual Boston Harborfest begins today, Wednesday June 29th and runs through July 4th. This event includes more than 200 activities from the Extreme Sailing Series to Chowderfest and Children’s Day. Check out the schedule of events and come into the city to celebrate.
On July 3rd & 4th the Boston Pops will be performing at the Esplanade in Boston. The performance on July 4th will be followed with fireworks. Even if you don’t can’t stay up until the fireworks, it is promising to be a great day to be out and about on the jewel of Boston’s emerald necklace.
If you are a fireworks buff, there are plenty of fireworks and parades in New England throughout the weekend for your viewing pleasure. One of the most unique can be found at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT – on July 4th they are throwing a 3-D fireworks display. Guests can buy 3-D Glasses for a $1 and have a whole new viewing experience. And, all proceeds from the sales of the 3D Glasses will be donated to charity.
The Pawtucket Red Sox, located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, have games scheduled for July 1st –July 3rd. Also playing this weekend are the Boston Red Sox, who have home games from July 4th through July 10th. So if you are in the area, you have a multitude of game options to choose from – what is more American the baseball, hotdogs, popcorn and peanuts at the ballpark?
Regardless of whether you are staying in the neighborhood or venturing far afield don’t forget to use Plymouth Rock Assurance’s Gas Price Finder to find the lowest gas prices near you.
Commercial Auto Rates Too High?
I am sure that many of you saw the recent article in the Boston Globe about the Attorney General’s review of the commercial auto results over the past several years. The AG’s office determined that the industry as a whole has been overcharging customers to the tune of $150 million per year for the last 7 years! Could this be true?
At Plymouth Rock our pricing – the price we actually charge for each risk – has steadily decreased over the past 7 years. In the commercial insurance world there often is a significant difference between the list price (the price before any discounts) and the price that actually sells the policy. Unless you know the details of those discounts, it is hard to look at industry wide premium numbers and know what has been happening with the real price.
The “real” price – the price business owners actually pay – at Plymouth Rock has decreased from $1,333 per vehicle in 2004 to $1,103 today; a decrease of 16%. This decrease is the result of a combination of factors:
- discounts added to policies,
- the fact that our commercial auto rates have actually decreased.
In fact, we recently introduced a new safe driver discount available when the driving record has been clean for 4 and/or 5 years. We expect this to bring our rates down even further.
The insurance industry is like any other industry, when costs (claims) go down, firms drive new sales by lowering their prices (read rate). This is exactly what has been happening in the commercial auto market. In addition, the tough economy has forced businesses to look very closely at the price they are paying for their business auto coverage. The industry has been responding increased competition, lower claim volume and increased customer scrutiny by offering more competitive pricing. It’s not clear who the AG believes was “over” charging, but Plymouth Rock remains committed to offering competitive insurance products and superior customer service to our customers.
I am confident we have done this over the past seven years!
Motorcycle safety is important for both motorcyclists and the drivers who share the road with them. Each should be aware of, and respectful to, the other on the road. Here are a few safe driving tips both types of drivers should remember when on the road together to help ensure that everyone gets where they’re going safely.
Even the best-designed vehicles still have blind spots, so drivers should be aware of blind spots and watch for motorcyclists around them when making turns, switching lanes and braking. Make sure you double check before making any maneuvers. Also remember to use your blinkers so that other motorists (motorcycle or automobile) are aware of your intentions. Forewarned is forearmed.
Likewise, motorcyclists should be aware that they may be in a driver’s blind spot, so riders should make sure they can see drivers in their rear-view mirrors and be cautious when motorists in front of them are braking, changing lanes and turning. Remember one of the safest places to be when driving behind an automobile is on the right hand side of the vehicle. This helps ensure that the automobile driver in front of you will see you in the rear view mirror.
Wear Proper Gear
Just as most people buckle up when getting into a car, motorcyclists should wear protective equipment. A helmet can save a life in a crash. Gloves, boots, and a jacket offer additional protection. Motorcyclists should also watch out for debris on the road as well as road construction because motorcycles are potentially more exposed to the vagaries of the road!
Maintenance for Motorcycles
Even though you may not ride it often, make sure your motorcycle is maintained properly at regular intervals; check tires, fluids, brakes, headlights, turn signals.
Did you know Plymouth Rock Assurance offers motorcycle insurance? Speak to an agent near you to find the right coverage for you.
June 5-11, 2011 marks National Tire Safety Week. Now that warmer weather is here, it’s a great time to check your tires so your car is ready for wherever you may be going this summer.
There are several things to consider when it comes to your tires. When was the last time you checked the pressure, had tires rotated, aligned, or even looked at the tread? If you can’t answer any of the above, then it’s time to do so. Here are a few things you should know about tire safety:
With winter road damage and construction there are potholes and patches in the road. When you hit one hard, or drive over many small ones repeatedly, the alignment in your car can be altered. When your wheels aren’t aligned properly, your vehicle can be more difficult to handle under stressful conditions such as quick turns or high-speed braking.
How to make a decision about tires?
When considering purchasing new tires there are many things to consider: road conditions in your area, seasonal changes, whether your car has front-wheel drive, and more. Sears Auto Center provides a resource to answer a few questions before purchasing tires to see what best fits your needs.
Summer and All Season Tires
Some drivers put winter tires on their car, but what about summer tires? There are handling benefits to each in different types of road conditions. According to Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, summer tires can be used in spring, summer, and fall because they are designed to have traction on wet and dry roads. These tires are not used in the winter because their composition and tread is not suitable for snow and ice. All season tires, though, can also be used in light snow.
When purchasing only two out of four tires, there is an additional factor to consider when you decide whether you replace the front or the rear tires. Meineke Car Care Center recommends replacing the rear tires instead of the front because rear tires that are worn down in comparison to the front can cause the back of the vehicle to slide if they lose grip on wet roads. By replacing the rear tires, there is more hydroplaning resistance.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated at all times. Correctly inflated tires minimize tread wear and optimize the amount of tire surface that touches the road, providing for better road handling. Knowing how much to inflate your tires is easy – the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) is printed right on the sidewall of the tire. Tire pressure should be measured when the tires are warm, so drive around a bit before you check the pressure.
As a Plymouth Rock customer you’ll receive our exclusive Savings Pass which offers a variety of auto-related discounts on tires, oil changes, accessories, car rentals and more from well-known retailers like Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, Meineke Car Care Center, and Sears Auto Center. Now, that’s more than just insurance!
Committed to Helping our Customers
Plymouth Rock Assurance understands that this is a difficult time for many of our customers and agents who live and work in the areas affected by Wednesday’s storms. We want to assure you that we are making every effort to help those impacted. Important information that our customers and agents should know:
- To report an auto claim, you can reach us any time at 888-324-1620.
- We are diverting a large number of our Crashbusters® mobile appraisers to the affected areas to expedite claim processing.
- We'll travel to your home, office or anywhere in Massachusetts or Connecticut that is convenient for you to appraise damage to your vehicle.
- Our appraisers will be available throughout the weekend to inspect damage and manage extra claim volume promptly.
- And, we will be opening up a temporary Plymouth Rock “drive-in” appraisal center, staffed by one of our Crashbusters appraisers, to provide an additional level of service to you, our loyal customers. Look for our Crashbusters van in the parking lot at the following location:
1252 Elm Street
West Springfield, MA
Hours of operation:
7am-7pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Customer Service at 866-353-6292 or your local independent agent.
For additional information about the tornado recovery or to learn about ways you can help, please visit the American Red Cross website.
All drivers should know by now that texting while driving is illegal in most US states. In Massachusetts the law went into effect on September 30, 2010, forbidding drivers to use their mobile devices to text while driving. And in Connecticut the law was enacted much earlier, in January of 2009.
The laws regarding use of mobile devices while driving are getting stricter to prevent people from causing unnecessary accidents due removing focus from where it should be – on the road. So what are the laws in each state exactly? And can repeat offenses affect your car insurance over the long-term?
According to Masslive.com, the state of Massachusetts prohibits all drivers under the age of 18 from engaging in any form of mobile communication while driving, which includes the use of hands-free devices. For those over eighteen, the first offense for texting while driving will slap you with a $100 dollar ticket, the second offense with a $250 dollar fine, and any violation after that is a $500 plus fine per offense. Beyond the financial implications, being ticketed for distracted driving can affect your car insurance in Massachusetts!
Like most other repeat offenses and multiple ticket charges, your car insurance company will be notified of violations you receive and your rate could be affected.
With laws in the state of CT being around for almost two years longer when it comes to texting while operating a vehicle, the sanctions are much stricter in the constitution state. The laws are similar to Massachusetts but a few terms were added as of 2011. According to Handsfreeinfo.com, the second driving while texting offense would make the driver guilty of a misdemeanor charge and police would have the option to take the offenders license away for a period of 24 hours.
So what about your Connecticut auto insurance policy? Will multiple driving offenses from the use of mobile devices hike up your rate? The answer is yes. Again, any type of repeat offense can cause your car insurance company to take notice. With especially strict laws in the state of CT, you will be better off just waiting until your next stop to take out your cell phone.
Did you know that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves? That is according the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Do yourself a favor and focus on the road…your phone will be there after your car is in park.